Can Kreider, Zibanejad Lead Retooled Rangers In 2016-17?

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Published on : October 24, 2016

 

 

The 2015-2016 season was one to forget for Rangers players and fans alike. After a hot 14-2-2 start, the Blueshirts finished at a 91-point pace. A pace that, over a full season, would’ve missed the playoffs. Considering how the team limped into the first round just to get embarrassed by the eventual Cup champs, that might’ve been a good thing. That’s the past though. This off-season was an interesting one for Slats successor Jeff Gorton. With limited resources, he had to figure out a way to “rebuild” with the potential for immediate improvement. All things considered I think he did an excellent job. The potential to bounce back as an Eastern Conference powerhouse is there. Cup Ready? – thats TBD.

 

 New Sheriff, Jeff Gorton.

 

OUT

Brassard (29 – Ottawa), Stalberg (30 – Carolina), Moore (36 – Boston), E. Staal (32 – Minnesota), Glass (33 – AHL), Yandle (30 – Florida), Boyle (40 – retired)

 

IN

Zibanejad (23), Vesey (23), Buchnevich (21), Grabner (29), Jooris (26), Pirri (25), Holden (29),  Clendening (23)

 

There’s absolutely no denying the Rangers are significantly better up front simply by subtraction. Eric Staal & Glass are relatively useless. I love Dom Moore but the game looked to pass him by last season. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Stalberg return but he’s not exactly a linchpin guy. Brass was a fan-favorite, but moving him for a better two-way center that scores at a similar clip & has yet to hit his prime is the right decision. Gorton has retooled these forwards in a big way and its already starting to translate into success.

 

It’s only 6 games – two of which they lost – but this New York Rangers team looks infinitely more equipped to succeed playing the up-tempo game that’s sweeping the league. The speed & aggressiveness is obvious compared to last year’s passive squad & that’s in large part to Jeff Gorton’s off-season tinkering. Under-the-radar newcomers like Grabner, Pirri & Clendening have given the Blueshirts exactly what was expected so far. Nick Holden has soaked up 21 minutes a game & been solid. Jimmy Vesey has had his opportunities to score but appears a bit snakebitten. Buchnevich has shown a better two-way game than I expected & has been an asset despite a couple “rookie” plays. And anyone skeptical about the Brassard/Zibanejad swap has to have changed their mind.

 

 Zibanejad and Kreider all day.

 

A big part of Kreider’s early success (seven points in five games) can be attributed to Zibanejad doing a great job of opening up some space and moving the puck into soft areas so that the big American winger can play to his strengths. Zibanejad just seems to have eyes in the back of his head, one pass that displays all of his gifts came in the first game of the season against the Fishsticks when the centerman peels out of the corner and finds Brady Skjei at the point.

 

One of the best parts of Zibanejad’s game is his ability to move the puck to his linemates after drawing defenders to him. This is an important aspect of any center’s game, but Zibanejad does it with incredible grace and it’s allowed his linemates to play with more space in front of them.

 

Not only has Zib shown great chemistry with his linemates & as much offensive capabilities as Brass, but he’s dominating the dot & working his ass off in the defensive zone. This kid is going to be a star. Gorton should do everything he can to lock him up long-term before even risking him as an RFA before next season. #93 doesn’t turn 24 until the playoffs start & has apparently helped turn Chris Krieder into the monster we’ve been waiting for. Kreids was stellar all preseason & has followed that up with consecutive 1 G/1 A/7 SOG efforts in the games that count. He’s teased us before but this is a newfound confidence he’s skating with. This time, it feels so real.

 

The road ahead is not an easy one, but if the past few games are any indication of how the season will go, we’re in for a real treat. Big picture, the window is still wide open for the New York Rangers.

 

 


2016 NHL Draft: Winners And Losers

Written by :
Published on : June 30, 2016

 

 

 

For many teams and fans alike, the NHL Draft can be a very exciting time. It can bring promising new talent to an organization or reinvigorate a struggling team. In addition to drafting new players, NHL Draft weekend is usually the kickoff to the blockbuster trades of the summer. But every player drafted and traded is a game of high risk, high reward and it doesn’t always work out. On that note, here are my winners and losers of the 2016 NHL Draft.

 

 

Winners

 

Buffalo Sabres

 

There’s no two ways about it, the Sabres had a very good draft. Alex Nylander will eventually become the winger that Jack Eichel sets up the most and they’ll eventually become the Batman and Robin of Buffalo. Rasmus Asplund was a solid pick and Cliff Pu came on strong at the end of the year. Brett Murray is a big, young project forward. The defender Budik, and first year WHL forward Hagel all have promise. The Kulikov trade felt a lot like a wash although he eats up big 2nd pairing minutes which is sure to help the Sabres.

 

Calgary Flames

 

To me they are one of the two big winners of this year’s draft. The trade for Elliot shores up their goaltending issue and didn’t cost that much. Their first 6 picks were nearly perfect. Tkachuk falling to them was a blessing. Dube as a mid to late 2nd rounder was not quite a steal but a very solid pick up there. Adam Fox is a hit or miss small blueliner. Tyler Parsons had an incredible run at the end of the season, proving to be the fastest rising goaltender. Lindstrom is a big time scorer in Swedish Juniors and showed well on the international stage. Some had Mitchell Mattson as a 2nd or 3rd round project pick; Flames got him in the 5th. Tuulola is another big Finn with soft hands and a big appetite. Tiny Matt Phillips was a 37 goal scoring, point per game player. Falkovsky is as big as Logan Stanley and it didn’t cost a pick to select him.

 

Detroit Red Wings

 

I really liked what these guys did overall. But we all know the Datsyuk “trade” made it all worthwhile. Even though they didn’t pick up any real blue-chip players, they did pick up 4 defensemen who will all likely play in the NHL. Cholowski was a particularly fast riser at the end of the season. They also were able to sandwich Givani Smith in between, another good, big bodied forward pick.

 

New Jersey Devils

 

I hate to say it, but The Devils are another team that crushed this draft. Starting out nicely with McLeod, both Bastian and Joey Anderson followed, one a big bodied net-front presence and the other the 3rd member of the high scoring Keller/Bellow/Anderson line for the USNTDP team. They then followed it up with 4 other solid prospects: Gignac, Maltsev, Cormier, and Rykov. The Bratt pick might prove to be a late round gift.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

 

The Flyers had 10 picks in this draft and hit on at least 8 of them. German Rubtsov is a perfect fit for what they need and what they are building. Pascal Laberge is going to surprise folks with his savvy offensive ability and the Flyers were lucky to get him at this point in the 2nd round. They then selected what was probably the best goalie prospect in the draft, Carter Hart. Wade Allison and Carter Twarynski both were late season fast risers and they project as hard working power forwards. Late picks, Tanner Laczynski and David Bernhardt both could be steals in a few years.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

 

Some people didn’t like the Bolts’ draft as it didn’t take enough risks. I disagree. Instead of being flashy they picked the smart, safe selections with some talent mixed in. Howden is a solid 3C with 2C upside. Libor Hajek was the best blueliner on the board when they picked. Katchouk is scrappy and skilled. Raddysh was the forgotten man in Erie, but were his numbers all about Dylan Strome? Ingram, Colton, and Somppi were all good to great picks at where they were made.

 

 

Losers

 

Boston Bruins


Poor Boston. I just feel sorry for them given the Bruins’ front offices struggles as of late. That said I really like the Charlie McAvoy pick (NCAA, RHD) almost as much as I hated the Trent Frederic pick. The latter almost certainly would have been there at least into the 2nd round, likely the 3rd. Ryan Lindgren is a solid if not very sexy pick. Joona Koppanen might turn out to be something but they picked him right where he should have gone. Oskar Steen was a nice late round get.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

 

Their 1st pick was in the 2nd round and they snagged Alex DeBrincat who, despite his size, is likely an NHL scorer in the future. Chad Krys, while rated highly by some,  isn’t all that in my book and he was falling consistently over the last few months. The Kayumov pick was too early in my estimation. Lucas Carlsson is a mediocre “can’t hurt you” selection. The Peters selection has promise. However the rest are questionable at best and throw-aways at worst.

 

Dallas Stars

 

Riley Tufte is a boom or bust pick but has loads of talent. I think he’ll tend more to the boom side of the equation. The Stars didn’t pick again until late in the 3rd round and did something of a reach with Karlstrom. He’s a nice prospect but would have likely been there when they came around again at 116. The rest of the picks are non-factors for me.

 

Los Angeles Kings

 

A lot of people like Kale Clague but I’m not impressed. I like their 4th rounder, Moverare as much if not more. Eyssimont might turn into something but it’s a long shot. They didn’t really do anything to help the team or the prospect pool.

 

New York Rangers

 

They might as well have sat this one out. Starting with the raw, immensely talented Sean Day as their 1st pick (which happened to be in the 3rd round), the Rangers drifted from bad to, well, bad some more. There is the smaller offensive defenseman, Tarmo Reunanen. Tim Gettinger might prove to be a useful 3rd or 4th liner some day given his hulking size. But only if he improves his skating, his strength, and his hockey sense….is that all? Their best pick might have been the fortunate faller Ty Ronning who landed in their lap in the seventh round.

 

 

Well those are my winners and losers of the 2016 NHL Draft, let us know in the comment section below who you think had a good or bad draft.


Rangers Drop Game 3 to Pens

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Published on : April 20, 2016

 

 

Coming off a big win in game two at Pittsburgh and great start to game three, the inability to keep the momentum going into the third period is what cost the Rangers a win. After nearly two periods of great hockey by both teams, the Rangers gradually let the game slip away from them. The Pens defense, especially in the neutral zone, came up big for them and they allowed only 17 shots on goal the entire game. Henrik Lundqvist had another strong game in net, but could not make up for the lack of offense.

 

Having only 17 shots on goal in an entire playoff hockey game is just embarrassing. The Rangers did nothing to make back-up goaltender Matt Murray feel uncomfortable. It’s only a matter of time before Marc-Andre Fluery comes back, so taking advantage of opportunities like an unexperienced goaltender is key if you want to win.

 

During the early stages of the game, the Rangers had a clear advantage in the Penguins’ zone. Halfway through the first period, it looked as if the Rangers were going to take an early 1-0 lead after Kreider beat Murray near-side, something that would’ve been well deserved. But the Penguins challenged the goal for offsides, and after review it was ruled that J.T. Miller was offsides when the puck crossed the blue line.

 

 

The no-goal call had a visible effect on the Rangers’ momentum as the first period came to a close. Thanks to a great play by Kevin Klein that knocked the puck loose in the defensive zone, Nash was able to motor in on a partial breakaway and plant an absolute snipe right under the crossbar to make it 1-0 game.

 

Throughout the rest of the second period the Rangers seemed to control most of the game. They played well defensively, blocking the shooting lanes and keeping the Penguins to the outside. Late in the period Marc Staal was called for a hooking penalty on Carl Hagelin. The Pens didn’t waste anytime to capitalize on their man-up opportunity. Kessel’s shot was deflected in by Crosby to tie the game at 1-1 late in the second.

 

 

The third period is where the Rangers saw the most drastic decline in momentum. 4:16 into the period, Cullen scored on a breakaway after Boyle and Yandle collided at the blue line. The Rangers never fully recovered from this goal and it just got worse from there.

 

Following the goal that put Pens up 2-1, the Penguins completely shut down the Rangers in the neutral zone, and gave them absolutely no opportunity to create a scoring chance while entering the offensive zone. The Rangers attempted to make one final push after pulling Lundqvist, but they were unable to get any good shots on net. Letang was able to seal the deal with the empty net goal with less than 15 seconds remaining, and gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the series.

 

The Rangers will face the Penguins again for Game 4 of the series on Thursday night at MSG. If the Rangers can get another good start to the game and keep the momentum throughout, then they have a great shot at winning.

 

Let’s Go Rangers!!!

 

 

 


Rangers Set To Face Penguins in Round 1

Written by :
Published on : April 13, 2016

 

 

“The men of the New York Rangers, and we their fans, know that there are no easy victories. That’s how we play the game, that’s how we live our lives, that’s how we like it.”

 

 

Detective Steven McDonald said it best during his speech at MSG last week. Nothing was easy for New York this season and with the Rangers set to face the Pens in first round for the third straight year, this theme will certainly carry over to the playoffs. Facing the high-flying Penguins will be no easy task for the Blueshirts, especially with their top blueliner, Ryan McDonagh, out for the foreseeable future.

 

 

And while many people (myself included) may have wanted the Rangers to take the easy way out (like the Islanders did) and take a loss to the Red Wings in their season finale, that’s not how the Rangers, and New Yorkers for that matter, do things. It’s the hard way, but that’s how we like it. When Marc Staal was asked about the Rangers 3-2 win on Saturday, this is what he had to say:

 

“You don’t lose to play somebody else. If you do that, bad things happen. You play to win. We’re not scared of anybody.”

 

Hell yeah, Marc Staal. The Rangers knew EXACTLY what they were doing. They knew that the hottest team in the NHL was waiting for them on the other side of that win, but they didn’t care. Instead of running away like the Fishsticks, they came out ready to face their challenge head on. If that doesn’t speak to the type of team the Rangers are, then I don’t know what does.

 

 

I can go on and on about numbers and statistics but, to be honest, I don’t think it matters. The playoffs are a whole new season and anything can happen. The Rangers are ready to do things the hard way and every New York Rangers fan is right there behind them.

 

So here’s to the greatest time of the year and another shot at the greatest trophy in all of sports. We Want The Cup!

 

LETS GO RANGERS!!!!

 

 

P.S. Check out Keith Yandle’s article for the Player’s Tribune

 


Isles Sweep Rangers, But Who’s The Real Loser?

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Published on : April 9, 2016

 

As a avid New York Rangers fan, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the Islanders sweeping the Rangers for the first time in franchise history is ever a good thing. But, when you look at the current playoff picture, it might be the lesser of two evils.

 

Thursday night, the Rangers dropped the fourth and final contest of the regular season to the Islanders by a score of 4-1. With that loss, it puts the Rangers in the first wild card spot. As the standings are now, that would match up the Rangers against the Florida Panthers in Round 1 of the playoffs. Given how dangerous the Metro Division is with the Penguins and the Capitals, it might not be the worst thing ever to play through the Atlantic Division. There are still a few variables in this playoff equation, so we’ll see how it all plays out.

 

Rangers Isles 2

 

As far as the game itself, the Rangers played a far better game then the score would lead you to believe. If the Rangers play like they did against the Isles, they are going to be in very good shape for Game 1. The Rangers pretty much dominated the scoreless first period in terms of possession.

 

With the Rangers unable to move up any further in the standings, there was really no point in playing Henrik Lundqvist Thursday night. Evidently, he was pulled after the second period after letting up 3 goals on 16 shots. The Rangers playoff spot is guaranteed, and like I said its not necessarily a bad thing if the Rangers were to move down in the standings.

 

Rangers Isles 3

 

From a fans perspective, the Rangers already dropped 3/4 games to the Fishsticks anyway, so there really wasn’t that much at stake in terms of bragging rights during Thursday night’s game. For me, all I really wanted was to see McIlrath and Martin finally drop the gloves.

 

Rangers Islanders

 

 

No Ranger fan wants to say it, especially against the Islanders, but we’re kinda okay with Thursday night’s loss. As far as the sweep goes, yeah it’s disappointing but were always going to be New York’s team. No sweep is really going to change that. So have your laughs now Fishstick fans, because it wont last for long.

 

The Rangers play their season finale against the Red Wings Saturday afternoon at MSG.

 

LETS GO RANGERS!!!!

 

 


Rangers (Finally) Clinch Playoff Berth

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Published on : April 6, 2016

 

 

Well it took long enough…

 

 

 

After going on their first losing streak of 2016, the Rangers punched their ticket to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-2 win against the Blue Jackets. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen without incident

 

 

Nothing has been easy for the Rangers this season, and it doesn’t look like the playoffs will be any different. A night where the Blueshirts finally lockup their playoff spot happens to be the same night they potentially lose their captain for what could be playoff series or two. If it’s a broken bone then odds are we’re looking at 4-6 weeks without #27.

 

McDonagh is easily the best blue-liner the Rangers have in their lineup. So hopefully they’ll have him back on the ice for Game 1. If in the meantime, Brady Skjei has been called up from Hartford to fill McDonagh’s skates. Yandle will probably be bumped back up to the top line where he played well during the Captain’s past two injuries.

 

But enough with the doom and gloom. With only 3 games left in the regular season (one being against the Isles on Thursday), it is time to gear up for the best months of hockey. Forget the past, the playoffs are a whole new season. It’s time to bring the cup back where it belongs.

 

 

 

LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!

 

 


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: NHL Logos

Written by :
Published on : April 2, 2016

 

Unless you’re the Cleveland Browns, chances are your professional sports team has a logo. And while it’s expected of fans to rally around the banner of their chosen club, the sad truth is that not every logo is created equal. Today we bring you, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of those sometimes hallowed, sometimes ludicrous, images proudly worn by NHL players.

 

Detroit Red Wings – Good

Obviously I’m a little biased, but I think it’s hard to say that this isn’t one of the most classic sports logos of all time. The MLB has plenty of good ones too, but when it comes to the NHL even many of the Original Six teams have modified their logos to some extent. The only down side of the Wings logo is that it was damn near impossible to draw accurately on your Trapper-Keeper as an obsessed kid.

 

St. Louis Blues – Bad

The logo is simple and classy, but I fail to see anything tough or inspiring about a musical note. Since when is the blues a thing in St. Louis? I’ve been there twice and I’m pretty sure it’s more well known for its Jnco-pants wearing populace and murderous police force.

 

sbs_nhllogos

 

Edmonton Oilers – Good

It’s cool Alberta, if you wanna burn bonkers amounts of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere of a rapidly warming world and be proud of it, at least you’ve got a logo that makes your team look royally sexy.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning – Bad

Sorry Tampa Bay, I love the simplicity that the ‘bolts are rocking but the minimal blue on white just ends up being boring. The whole “naming your team after a force of nature or natural disaster” thing has always kind of bummed me out too. If teams were really going for local color or geographical correctness we’d have groups like the Boston “Woman Punchers,” the Dallas “Expense Accounts,” and the Ottawa “Polite White Men.”

 

Nashville Predators – Ugly

Nashville_Predators_Logo_(2011).svg

 

It ain’t easy having an abbreviated nickname like “the Preds,” and the in-profile image of Nashville’s banner saber-toothed cat looks more like it’s got a serious case of lockjaw instead of getting ready to dine on any number of NHL teams that have chosen to name themselves after an animal lower down the food chain. Pro tip: If you’re rooting against Nashville at the game make a shirt with Chris Hansen on it that says “To Catch a Predator.” Hilarity (and fistfights) will ensue.

 

New York Rangers – Good

I want to say that the Rangers logo is bad with every fiber in my being because I hate the club (I have a Pavlovian response to any footage of Messier lifting the cup that makes me punch a child), but I just can’t. Classic and classy, this one’s got that same level of Original Six cool. At least Tortorella’s not the coach anymore… Breathe, Roger, breathe.

 

Dallas Stars – Bad

Dallas has always kind of had a middle of the road logo, but what’s going on with that quasi-mint green they’re rocking now? The standard black and white, gold trim always seemed to suit them so well as a team. The whole combination with the new silver “D” over the star along with that weird green, makes them look more like a tech startup or a Canadian football team than anything else.

 

Carolina Hurricanes – Bad

1280px-Carolina_Hurricanes.svg

 

I get it, but this one’s a little too abstract to fully appreciate. It reminds me more of a decal that would be featured on a Japanese robot’s chest than on a grown man playing a professional sport. I’d make a joke about the robots being called “Spinjas” but I can’t because that was already a thing. It was awesome.

 

Philadelphia Flyers – Good

Philly might not have been an Original Six team but that logo is arguably the best in the league. As a kid I only played spring season once (that was for the hardcore kids), and it was two towns over. Our team had Flyers colored jerseys and some kid on another team called us the “creamsicles.” I told him I was the ghost of Bobby Clark and then boarded the tar out of him, then blew a kiss to his mama from the penalty box.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets – Bad

Here’s another one that looks more like a farm team logo than a proper NHL one. I can kind of dig on the esoteric team name, but the lack of symmetry in the star gives me fits, and the whoosing swoop of the flag is hard to take serious. If the ‘Canes logo belongs on a Japanese toy robot, this is the logo for the latest G.I. Joe Saturday morning cartoon reboot.

 

Buffalo Sabers – Good

Buffalo_Sabres_Logo.svg

 

See, this is what the Blue Jackets logo should be like! It’s got a military crest vibe that looks legit instead of being intended for the Fisher Price brightly-colored-teething-ring set. It’s great that those hosers up in Buffalo have a logo they can be proud of, especially when the blue and gold do a fantastic job of drawing attention away from Jack Eichel’s teenage acne. Don’t hurt ‘em hammer!

 

Pittsburgh Penguins – Ugly

It’s kind of hard for me to believe that the top brass in the Penguins’ organization would take a look at their logo and say “You know what? Let’s go back to the old cartoony one.” I actually kind of like the call. The Pens are a serious franchise with a kind of goofy name/concept, and there’s something a little magical when you can rep tough through all the whimsy.

 

New Jersey Devils – Good

Uhh, you’re telling me that your logo is a cleverly designed “NJ” made to look harmlessly satanic while being named after the state’s most well known cryptozoological myth? It’s a shame that these guys don’t get no respect anymore, as nothing feels tougher than walking past Madison Square Garden on game night with that old Martin Brodeur jersey. Whenever the Devils mix in those little green accents into their color scheme, things just get so nasty.

 

Boston Bruins – Good

Boston_Bruins.svg

 

This one’s right up there with the Flyers’ logo. No matter how much I hate the Bruins, I’ve gotta show reverence to that iconic black and yellow “B.” Sometimes, I can even find deluded solace in the glorious memories of Bobby Orr and Don Cherry, instead of constantly having to hear about how good Zdeno Chara’s slap shot is. The dude is nineteen-and-a-half feet tall. Anybody that big better have one of the league’s best slap shots.

 

Vancouver Canucks – Bad

Full disclosure: Pavel Bure was my favorite hockey player in my youth and I wore a Canucks hat with old black/yellow/orange skate logo that stunk to high heaven from years of wear and tear. This is the prime example of a team dumping a great logo for an abominable one just to “shake things up.” Remember when the Pistons rocked those TEAL fire-breathing horse chess piece jerseys? Exactly. This logo is so bad that the Canucks alternate image is just a hockey stick. Unsurprisingly, the stick is way better.

 

Winnipeg Jets – Good

Sometimes you gotta dip for a few years before you come back to the party. As far as a modern logo for a new/old franchise is concerned, nothing says Canada (Winnipeg in particular) like aerial militarism. This logo is so fresh, expect to see the next big trap rapper gunned down on the streets while wearing one of these sweaters.

 

Ottawa Senators – Ugly

Ottawa_Senators.svg

 

Of all the logo changes discussed in this piece the Ottawa Senators’ decision baffles me the most. From a completely objective standpoint I simply can’t imagine how anybody could think the current logo is an improvement on any of their old ones. Is it to psyche us out by having the Senator guy now turned in two-thirds perspective and giving us a rapey creepo stare? I give up.

 

Los Angeles Kings – Good

Assuming we’re not talking about any of that hideous purple crown jazz, The Kings are a good example of doing a decent job of updating your logo without totally destroying it. Sure, the classic logo from the 90’s is better, and you know you’re doing something right when N.W.A. reps your gear, but the new one’s got some admirable simplicity going for it that makes the change bearable.

 

San Jose Sharks – Bad

This logo has suffered from slight tweaks and modifications over the years. I understand the need to rejuvenate the fan base and be dynamic, but I also think it’s inherently cooler to keep a club’s continuity. The positive side is that it makes the OG fans feel badass when they show up with their old jerseys. The downside is that you’re wearing a lot of TEAL. This logo is also appropriate in the sense that hockey players can’t take a shot from the point anymore without their sticks splintering into a million pieces.

 

Calgary Flames – Good

Calgary_Flames_Logo.svg

 

The team is called the “Flames” and the “C” that stands for Calgary is on fire. Pretty hard to argue with the logic here. I also like how there’s kind of a Zen thing going on with the basic elemental name. Let’s hope that if Las Vegas gets a franchise they follow this enlightened path and entitle their team The Las Vegas “Impermanent Sands of Time.”

 

Florida Panthers – Bad

And I thought the Red Wings’ logo was hard to draw! Florida gets the award for the most bizarrely detailed and overly rendered logo. This pissed kitty looks admirably menacing, but the perspective of the huge foregrounded paws and tiny hind legs just kind of makes me giggle. Thanks to the Crayola box worth of different colors and the elaborate design, this would probably be more fun as a big poster to trip out to on psychedelics than to wear on your body.

 

New York Islanders – Good

Let’s just all admit that the Gorton’s fish stick man/lighthouse logo was the worst aesthetic decision made by any NHL team in the league’s history. That orange, eggplant, and TEAL abomination is the stuff of nightmares, and I’m glad to see it done with. On the other hand, the classic Islanders logo feels just that: classic. It’s a little funky with the rendering on the island’s edges, and in some ways it looks like it’s biting Washington’s logo, but no other crest evokes the mustachioed helmet-less days of yore like Long Island’s.

 

Minnesota Wild – Ugly

Minnesota_Wild.svg

 

I love that there’s an NHL team back in Minnesota but this squad’s look is too much of a good thing. Ferocious looking bear? Awesome. Tons of trees to get the point across? Alright, I guess. A shooting star for the bear’s eye and weird borders on the jersey hems? Ok, now we’re entering some uncomfortably weird hippy territory. This is the vegan poutine of NHL logos.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs – Good

I can’t say I’m too wild about that chunky/veiny logo they just trotted out recently, but there are few better logos in the NHL than Toronto’s flat blue leaf containing the team’s name in a Helvetica-like font. It’s the kind of stuff fixed-gear-bike-riding design nerds drool over. All the best to Mike Babcock. I really hope he turns that team and around and gives the people of Ontario a winning club. Unless they’re playing the Red Wings, then it’s still “fuck ‘em.”

 

Anaheim Ducks – Ugly

I say with all seriousness that that goofy duck goalie-mask back when Anaheim was still “The Mighty Ducks” is better than their current logo (see my thoughts on the Penguins). The logo’s concept of the titular waterfowl’s webbed foot barely comes through, and that shade of gold clashes so hard with the red-orange trim that just looking at it makes me feel like Tim Gunn trapped in a Tommy Bahama’s. That said, if you wanted a visual distillation of a team’s soul, it doesn’t get any more accurate or ugly than this.

 

Washington Capitals – Good

Washington_Capitals.svg

 

After so many terrible changes it’s nice to see Washington return to their classic look. This one gets the award for being the most anachronistically 80’s looking of the bunch. I feel bad for the guys and gals showing up at the Verizon center with those old jerseys with the stars and the eagle and that gross TEAL backdrop (notice a trend here?).

 

Phoenix Coyotes – Bad

I wanted to make some joke about the current Phoenix logo’s canine howling because it was getting neutered, but my heart just wasn’t in it. What I really wish is that the team still had that ridiculous Kokopelli-esque logo. Those jerseys had all the funny hem decorations and extra patches too. It’s like when the Minnesota Wild designed their new look they were like “We want to emulate the ugliest jerseys in the NHL, get the Coyotes on the phone.”

 

Colorado Avalanche – Bad

Could be worse/could be better, but that whole bigfoot shoulder patch thing is rough to stomach. I’ve found that these jerseys actually look great when soaked in the blood of Claude Lemieux and Patrick Roy after being beaten to a pulp by Darren McCarty and Mike Vernon. That’s a look I can get behind.

 

Chicago Blackhawks – Ugly

ChicagoBlackhawksLogo.svg

 

If American exceptionalism has taught us anything it’s that we are very good at glossing over our awful past in regards to native peoples while blatantly celebrating them in sports logos. So while the Blackhawks’ logo is probably wildly offensive to many, it still has the benefit of looking really cool, and perhaps even being a more positive depiction of First Nations people (if we’re going to go that route), especially when compared to the Cleveland Indians and the morally reprehensible Washington Redskins.

 

Montreal Canadiens – Good

It’s cool that it has an “H” in the middle for the nickname, and if I said anything ill about the Canadiens it would probably bring some form of wrath down on me from the hockey gods, especially considering this is the first year since 1970 that no Canadian team has made it to the playoffs. I respect the hockey gods, and frankly, right now I don’t need any more problems in my life.

 

 


Tanner Glass Is Ready To Fight Wayne Simmonds

Written by :
Published on : February 10, 2016

 

 

As many of you know, this Sunday is Valentine’s Day. And while couples across the country will be exchanging chocolates and roses, it seems that Tanner Glass and Wayne Simmonds will be exchanging punches.

 

 

This past Saturday, the Flyers hosted the Rangers in a matinee game that the Blueshirts would go on to win in a shootout. But in good ol’ Rangers/Flyers tradition, it didn’t happen without incident…

 

 

Now that Ryan McDonagh is “day-to-day’ with a concussion, Ranger’s enforcer, Tanner Glass, thinks it’s time for Simmonds to answer for his actions

 

 

I’m glad that Glass is stepping up and making it known that the Rangers aren’t going to allow things like this. Players are going to think twice before taking a run at star players if they know that Glass is there to hold them accountable. I wouldn’t be surprised if McIlrath tries to drop the gloves with Simmonds too. I can just picture Glass and McIlrath flipping a coin in the locker room before the game to see who gets to fight him.

 

Glass and Simmonds are no strangers to each other though. They fought once before back in 2013:

 

 

If Sunday’s tilt is anything like that fight, then we are in for a treat. And Simmonds really has no choice but to fight Glass now. Once it’s in the media, it’s a done deal.

 

P.S. I would be pretty scared to drop the gloves with someone who fights bears:

 

 

 


The New York Rangers Face Obstacles In Push To The Playoffs

Written by :
Published on : February 5, 2016

 

 

 

The New York Rangers opened up the second half of their season, and their push to the playoffs, Tuesday night with a 3-2 loss in New Jersey following the All-Star break. But the 2 points wasn’t all that they lost.

 

Late in the third period, Reid Boucher laid a hit on Kevin Klein that would take him out for the rest of the game.

 

“All we heard was him screaming a little bit because of the pain,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “The referee said, ‘Listen, he just fell awkwardly. There was no slash, no nothing.’ ”

 

Klein is a key player in the Rangers defense and he recently missed a game on Jan. 17 with an injury to his right thumb, which happens to be the same thumb he injured this time around. But this absence will be the second significant stretch of games he’ll miss this season, having missed most of December with an oblique injury.

 

The Rangers are obviously better with Klein on the ice. They were 17-6-2 before the  injury, then went 3-6-2 without Klein. I strongly believe Klein’s absence heavily contributed to the inconsistent play of the Rangers throughout January.

 

 

“I can’t say enough good things about him, what he means to our team and how steady and solid he’s been in our ‘D’ core,” captain Ryan McDonagh said.

 

AV says the team won’t have a timetable for Klein’s return for a few days, but also said the Rangers have no plans to call up a seventh defenseman. Even with Klein’s potentially lengthy absence, the injury isn’t expected to have an impact on whether the Rangers (27-18-5) deal impending free agent Keith Yandle before the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

 

The only good that comes out of Klein’s absence is the opportunity for rookie defensemen Dylan McIlrath to get some solid playing time. He’s only appeared in 20 games (filling in for Klein during his first absence) all season and only 3 since December 22nd. In those 20 games he has scored 2 goals and notched an assist while earning a plus-five rating.

 

I love McIlrath in the lineup and I feel like he should’ve played in favor of Girardi and Boyle throughout December and January.

 

Even McDonagh said he has been impressed with how McIlrath’s game has continued progressing, despite spending most of the season in the press box.

 

 

“It’s a tough role not knowing if you’re going to be in or not every day, but every time he’s jumped in there he’s played very well,” McDonagh said. “We know about his toughness, his physicality, but it’s great to see him gaining some confidence with the puck, his poise and using his big shot, too.”

 

Now, with a guaranteed spot in the lineup (at least until Klein is healthy), McIlrath finds himself with what might be the biggest opportunity in his young career.

 

The Rangers push to the playoffs starts now, and if they play well like back in November, I’m sure we’ll be seeing them skate well into the spring (maybe even June).

 

Their next opponent is the Philadelphia Flyers on the road. Let’s Go Rangers!

 

 


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